LEGAZPI CITY -- The Regional Election Interagency Task Force (REITF) chaired by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Bicol said the succession process for the mayoral post in Daraga town is still on hold.
Romeo Serrano, Comelec assistant regional director, in a phone interview on Thursday said the task force is awaiting the issuance of a recommendation by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and government prosecutors on whether the criminal charges filed against Baldo are bailable or non-bailable offenses.
He said on the basis of the recommendation, the task force would evaluate and recommend to the DILG what necessary action to take regarding the selection of Baldo's successor in case he is charged with a non-bailable offense that would render him in legal incapacity to perform his duties as mayor of Daraga.
Serrano said the task force would pass a resolution tasking the DILG to implement the succession procedure, citing that in case Baldo is detained, this would leave him in permanent incapacity to function and perform the duties of the office, therefore, his vice mayor would take over his post.
The CIDG was not able to present Baldo in an inquest proceeding with the provincial prosecutor's office on Wednesday after Baldo complained of asthma and hypertension. He was rushed to the UST Hospital in Legazpi where he remains in confinement.
Anthony Nuyda, regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, said that since Daraga town is under the control of the Comelec due to occurrence of election-related incidents, they could only adopt the normal succession process upon recommendation of the poll body.
With regards the Office Order signed by Baldo on January 22 designating town councilor Joey Marcellana as officer-in-charge of the Office of the Mayor, Nuyda said the municipal leader, under the local government procedure, may designate a person of his choice as his temporary replacement, but the order would only take effect for four days, after which Vice Mayor Victor Perete shall assume the mayoral post. (PNA)